Thursday, August 18, 2011

From "Trilce," by Cesar Vallejo

Our poet-pundits:

Bryan Thao Worra is the author of four books, most recently Barrow. He is the first Laotian American to receive a Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lorena Duarte is a spoken word artist and performance poet born in El Salvador, raised in Minnesota and educated at Harvard University, and currently living in South Africa. She performs regularly with Palabristas, Latin@ Wordslingers, a Minnesota based Latino poetry collective.

Today's poem:

From "Trilce"
by Cesar Vallejo, trans. by Clayton Eshleman


Tomorrow that other day, some-
time I might bind for the saltatory power,
eternal entrance.

Tomorrow someday,
it would be the shop plated
with a pair of pericardia, paired
carnivores in rut.

Could very well take root all this.
But one tomorrow without tomorrow,
between the rings of which we become widowers,
a margin of mirror there will be
where I run through my own front
until the echo is lost
and I'm left with my front toward my back.

The crossfire:

Bryan Thao Worra: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow in three verses today, eating moments with echo and widows. Some ink splashed on the paper hem of Truth, dancing sassily with the 25th hour whose face we can’t see.

Lorena Duarte: That I might leap, indeed, but I've no use for fancy words.
Prefer the starfish. No-front, no-back.
Just stomach, inside out and devouring.
On the sea – shitting – mouthing more useful than poet.


  1. I've been reading these for a while now. Can you tell me the purpose for this "crossfire?" No actual discussion of the poem happens as is expected with the title of this project. I am confused. Thanks.

  2. Might be going out on a limb here, but my take is that everyone's just here to have fun with poems, no more, no less. I think it's kinda the point that there's no traditional "critical analysis," otherwise it'd just be like any other review site/writing workshop.

  3. Seems like a missed opportunity for our literati to take a work and share their thoughts on what they think works and doesn't. As it stands we have a poem and two oblique "responses." Seems more like a photo opp.